• STV
  • MySTV

Number of patients prescribed antidepressants on the increase

Over 778,000 patients were issued at least one antidepressant during 2013 and 2014.

Can antidepressants affect mood?
© Flickr/ Michael Szpakowski

The number of patients being prescribed antidepressants is on the rise, figures show.

More than 778,000 patients in Scotland were prescribed at least one antidepressant during the period of 2013 and 2014.

The figure represents an increase of just over four per cent from between 2012 and 2013 when the number stood at 747,158 patients, and an increase of 22.8% since 2009 to 2010.

More than 518,000 patients were female and almost 260,000 were male.

Opposition parties raised concerns about the levels of prescribing, with the Scottish Conservatives stating the figure means almost 15% of the population has been diagnosed with depression.

The council areas with the highest rates were Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and Ayrshire and Arran while island health boards had the lowest incidence level.

Tory health spokesman Jackson Carlaw said: "The number of people being treated for depression is rising every year and there is absolutely no sign of that trend changing.

"This is despite a promise by the SNP more than seven years ago that it would halt the increase in antidepressants being handed out.

"Of course, these pills have a place to treat mild to moderate depression, but we have to start properly exploring alternatives.

"The Scottish Government must come up with a sincere and coherent plan on how to turn these damning statistics around."

Scottish Labour health spokesman Neil Findlay said: "We must look at the underlying causes behind the rise in the number of antidepressants being prescribed.

"Of course we want to ensure people with mental health problems come forward and are treated for their condition, we cannot see a situation where those in need are simply being parked on medications.

"We were told that mental health is a priority area for this Government but we need to see bold ambition not just warm words from the SNP."

The figures also show that 8924 patients received treatment for ADHD in the period between 2013 and 2014, up 12.7% compared to the previous year and an increase of 33% since 2009 to 2010.

Prescribing for dementia was also up by 16.7%, with 23,063 patients dispensed at least one drug for the condition during 2013 and 2014 compared with 19,763 patients between 2012 and 2013.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "The Scottish Government has long worked hard to reduce the stigma faced by people with mental health problems.

"As this stigma declines we would expect more patients to seek help from their GPs for problems such as depression.

"Any prescribing is a clinical decision and there is good evidence that GPs in Scotland assess and treat depression appropriately, and that GPs in Scotland are more likely to be working to clinical practice and guidelines than elsewhere.

"People with mental illness should expect the same standard of care as people with physical illness and should receive medication if they need it.

"While we ensure those who need medication continue to receive it, we are also committed to improving access to alternatives, such as psychological therapies, that increase choice and best accommodate patient preference."

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.